Bassist becomes second head of storied Newport Jazz

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES- Christian McBride, one of the most prominent contemporary double bassists, was named Thursday as only the second director of the celebrated Newport Jazz Festival.
The festival in the tony Rhode Island coastal town, one of the biggest dates on the jazz calendar, was created in 1954 and has been organized ever since by George Wein.

Now 90 years old, Wein has become a legend in the jazz world for bringing top talent to Newport and figuring out how to keep the event afloat financially, including by actively seeking out corporate sponsorships.
The festival announced that Wein would retire with the upcoming festival, which takes place from July 29 to 31, with the 43-year-old McBride taking charge next year.
"When I first met and heard a teenage Christian McBride in 1989, I knew that he was someone special. Little did I know that nearly 30 years later, he would become the special someone to continue my legacy," Wein said in a statement.
McBride said he was "deeply humbled" by the appointment, calling Newport "the most storied and legendary jazz festival in history."
The Newport Jazz Festival has been the site of some of the most famous recordings in jazz history from greats including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.
However, a number of other major jazz festivals have since emerged around the world, most notably in Montreal, New Orleans and Montreux, Switzerland.
The Philadelphia-born McBride is considered a master of jazz bass and has frequently recorded with leading artists, including Paul McCartney and Sting in crossovers to pop.
McBride has won five Grammys, most recently last month for Best Improvised Jazz Solo.
He is again scheduled to appear at the upcoming Newport Jazz Festival alongside the experimental jazz keyboardist Chick Corea.
McBride has previously taken on curatorial roles including serving four years as the jazz chair at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Friday, March 11th 2016

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